Why Kinship is Progeneratively Constrained: Extending Anthropology

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Abstract

The conceptualisation of kinship and its study remain contested within anthropology. This paper draws on recent cognitive science, developmental cognitive psychology, and the philosophy of science to offer a novel argument for a view of kinship as progeneratively or reproductively constrained. I shall argue that kinship involves a form of extended cognition that incorporates progenerative facts, going on to show how the resulting articulation of kinship’s progenerative nature can be readily expressed by an influential conception of kinds, the homeostatic property cluster view. Identifying the distinctive role that our extended cognitive access to progenerative facts plays in kinship delivers an integrative, progenerativist view that avoids standard performativist criticisms of progenerativism as being ethnocentric, epistemically naïve, and reductive.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSynthese: an international journal for epistemology, methodology and philosophy of science
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021

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